Daily Picture Show

Picturing Progress: A U.N. Photo Contest

In 2001, the United Nations adopted an ambitious list of eight goals for international development. The Millennium Development Goals include tall orders like "eradicate extreme poverty and hunger" and "achieve universal primary education;" the agreement was to have achieved the goals by 2015.

With that date swiftly approaching, the consensus seems to be that conditions have improved — but perhaps not enough. In just a few days, world leaders will gather in New York City to gauge progress. Meanwhile, the U.N.'s second annual Picture This photo contest has come to a close, with the aim of reinvigorating the cause through images.

  • Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Winner: Fishermen bring in the daily catch in southeastern Vietnam.
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    Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Winner: Fishermen bring in the daily catch in southeastern Vietnam.
    Tran Vinh Nghia/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education Honorable mention: A young girl at a school at an unregistered refugee camp for Burmese Rohingya in Eastern Bangladesh.
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    Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education Honorable mention: A young girl at a school at an unregistered refugee camp for Burmese Rohingya in Eastern Bangladesh.
    Jared Katz/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Winner, Goal 2: Children take a break from class at their newly established primary school in northeastern India. About 10 years ago, primary education was not prevalent here, as it is today.
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    Winner, Goal 2: Children take a break from class at their newly established primary school in northeastern India. About 10 years ago, primary education was not prevalent here, as it is today.
    Partha Pratim Saha/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women Honorable mention: Since bank loans have become available for women, Ms. Lien in Vietnam was able to use a microloan to expand production of a brick oven for her family.
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    Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women Honorable mention: Since bank loans have become available for women, Ms. Lien in Vietnam was able to use a microloan to expand production of a brick oven for her family.
    Quoc Nguyen/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Winner, Goal 3: A woman joins her two male co-workers at a brick field in West Bengal, India, where brick fields are generally dominated by men.
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    Winner, Goal 3: A woman joins her two male co-workers at a brick field in West Bengal, India, where brick fields are generally dominated by men.
    Joydeep Mukherjee/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Goal 4: Reduce child mortality Winner: A newborn baby sleeps in one of the hospitals in Southern Luzon, Philippines. The Department of Health has been very aggressive in decreasing, if not eliminating, infant deaths in the country.
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    Goal 4: Reduce child mortality Winner: A newborn baby sleeps in one of the hospitals in Southern Luzon, Philippines. The Department of Health has been very aggressive in decreasing, if not eliminating, infant deaths in the country.
    Oliver Belarga/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Goal 5: Improve maternal health Winner: A mother and child recover from malaria in a hospital in Burundi. The government provides free health care for pregnant women and children under 5.
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    Goal 5: Improve maternal health Winner: A mother and child recover from malaria in a hospital in Burundi. The government provides free health care for pregnant women and children under 5.
    Maria Cierna/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases A young girl reads under her malaria net in West Bengal, India. Some states of India are still red-marked for malaria. People are now very aware of how to prevent this disease.
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    Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases A young girl reads under her malaria net in West Bengal, India. Some states of India are still red-marked for malaria. People are now very aware of how to prevent this disease.
    Joydeep Mukherjee/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability. Winner: An urban bicycle parade in Budapest.
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    Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability. Winner: An urban bicycle parade in Budapest.
    Rudolf Kozsak/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program
  • Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development Winner: Fishermen from West Bengal and Orissa, India, work together to bring in the sea's harvest.
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    Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development Winner: Fishermen from West Bengal and Orissa, India, work together to bring in the sea's harvest.
    Saikat Mukherjee/Courtesy of United Nations Development Program

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"It is our hope that through showcasing these real and positive actions, more people will be motivated to contribute to this effort," Helen Clark, U.N. Development Program administrator, says in a news release. Winners in three divisions (amateur, professional and people's choice) were awarded in eight subcategories corresponding with the goals.

This selection of photographs features winners in the amateur photography division, but you can see more on the contest website.

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